WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Durham, North Carolina, returned an indictment yesterday charging a tax preparer with conspiring to defraud the United States, preparing false tax returns, filing a false personal tax return, and committing aggravated identity theft, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.
According to the indictment, Andrea Marie Pasley worked at Jones and Stone Taxes, a tax preparation business in Durham, North Carolina. From 2012 through 2017, Pasley allegedly conspired to fraudulently inflate client refunds by claiming, among other things, false deductions to which the clients were not entitled. The false items purportedly included fabricated education expenses and dependents. The indictment further alleges that Pasley filed a false tax return and committed aggravated identity theft when she claimed a false dependent on her own 2015 personal return.
If convicted, Pasley faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge, and a statutory mandatory sentence of two years on the aggravated identity theft charge. The defendant additionally faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count of filing a false tax return and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. The defendant also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
An indictment or information merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Martin commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation who conducted the investigation, and Assistant Chief Todd Ellinwood and Trial Attorney Kavitha Bondada of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.